7/21/2017

Concert Review: Iron Maiden and Ghost In Concert

Iron Maiden and Ghost In Concert
Xfinity Center Mansfield, Massachusetts
July 19, 2017
I can tick one off the bucket list now. I finally got my opportunity to see the iconic metal legends Iron Maiden in concert. I have been waiting for many years for this night and it was worth the wait. On a steamy July night, an over capacity crowd at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts reveled in their time witnessing the heavy metal giants perform. 

I have never seen that many people in sync like that, the admiration and respect was evident all night long. You would expect a raucous crowd, and I know we are all stereotyped like other groups of people, but this was an orderly crowd and when we all left there were no issues. So much for the stereotypes, you can throw them right out the window. We love our metal and our bands, and as Bruce Dickinson said, prior to a short dissertation of the world before a song, we are all “Blood Brothers.” One people enjoying each other’s company and the music.

The opening band Ghost is one I was anticipating as well. I had already purchased all their music and found their presentation onstage very theatrical. Of course, Maiden takes that element to entirely different level when they get on the stage. The music of Ghost is heavy and precise. The band’s lead singer “Papa Emeritus III” has put together a well-oiled machine, and he looks menacing as hell (no pun intended there). The “Nameless Ghouls,” the rest of the band, all have their devil masks on while the lead singer is a moving skeleton working the stage all night. The act is a tribute to the dark side and Satan. It is entertainment, an act yes, and I do not believe for a second they are worshipers of Lucifer. When you talk about being happy and prosperous as the lead singer did last night, well, worshipers of the dark master just don’t discuss such things, so there you go. The music is as awesome as I expected in a live setting. I would expect this band to continue to grow a large following and eventually be headliners.

Ghost was a superb warm up band for Maiden and I think everyone in attendance really enjoyed their music and presentation.

Iron Maiden’s stage sets the tone for their shows. With mascot Eddie and the backdrops for whatever album they are touring under, it always makes it a total multimedia event. This was the next to the last show for the incredible masterpiece The Book of Souls

All the members look to be in terrific shape physically and Bruce is still running around the stage all night long. He was totally soaked in sweat after only a few songs (as was I all night long). The energy he commands onstage is something to behold. The band has been together so long it is like watching a family joining together to celebrate what they love. You can feel the honesty in their performance. With three excellent guitarists and the phenomenal founder and bass player Steve Harris uniting them to make their way through fan favorites and the most recent recording, it really was something people in attendance will never forget.

The large video screens were amazing. The shots of the band on stage were HD quality, you could see the sweat on their arms and watch their fingers blazing away on the guitars. It made a difference for all of us in the upper sections. It was hard not to keep looking at the screen!

The one thing I did notice that was a blemish on an otherwise excellent show, was how Bruce’s mic kept cutting out last night. It happened frequently, so hopefully that is something that would be corrected by the venue or their own team on the mixing board. I am not sure where the problem was originating from.

The venue is in an off the beaten path area and by the time we made it through the incoming traffic, the only parking left was the very last lot with a 2 hour wait to get out. I learned my lesson when attending such a major event there. You should either get there when they open the lots or pay the price to park outside the venue! Fair warning to those who have not been there yet.

The inconveniences were not welcomed but dealt with in good spirits by all in attendance. And why not? We got to see phenomenal heavy metal in one evening so it was worth it. I had always watched the DVD sets over the years of Maiden and now understand the energy level and commitment of the band and their fans.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 20, 2017

Founder of:

Ghost Set List:
Masked Ball
(Gregorio Allegri song)
Square Hammer
From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Ritual
Cirice
Year Zero
Absolution
Mummy Dust
Monstrance Clock

Iron Maiden Set List:
    Doctor Doctor
    (UFO song)
    If Eternity Should Fail
    Speed of Light
    Wrathchild
    Children of the Damned
    Death or Glory
    The Red and the Black
    The Trooper
    Powerslave
    The Great Unknown
    The Book of Souls
    Fear of the Dark
    Iron Maiden
    Encore:
    The Number of the Beast
    Blood Brothers
    Wasted Years

7/15/2017

King Crimson To Tour The US Fall 2017!

(photo by Spike Mafford)

America in the Fall of 2017! The new dates see the group performing in some states and cities that have not been visited in a while. Atlanta, Georgia, for example, last had live Crimson music in 2001, while Texas has experienced something of an epic Crimson drought since 1974, not counting ProjeKct Three's week-long residency in the Lone Star state during March 1999.

Tour dates:
19 Oct Bass Concert Hall, Austin, TX - tickets
21 Oct Music Hall, Dallas, TX - tickets 
23 Oct Center Stage, Atlanta, GA - tickets 
24 Oct Center Stage, Atlanta, GA - tickets 
26 Oct Duke Energy Centre for the Performing Arts, Raleigh, NC - tickets 
28 Oct Lisner Auditorium, Washington D.C. - tickets 
29 Oct Lisner Auditorium, Washington D.C. - tickets
31 Oct New Jersey Performing Arts Centre, Newark, NJ - tickets 
02 Nov Merriam Theatre, Philadelphia, PA - tickets 
03 Nov Merriam Theatre, Philadelphia. PA - tickets 
06 Nov Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA - tickets 
08 Nov The Egg, Albany, NY - tickets 
09 Nov The Egg, Albany, NY - tickets 
11 Nov Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, PA - tickets 
17 Nov Beacon Theatre, New York, NY - tickets
18 Nov Beacon Theatre, New York, NY - tickets 
22 Nov Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor, MI - tickets 
24 Nov Hard Rock Rocksino, Cleveland, OH - tickets
26 Nov Riverside Theatre, Milwaukee, WI - tickets

For more ticket information: https://www.dgmlive.com/tours?liveshow=on

With three drummers up front including Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison and Jeremy Stacey, as well as the return of multi-instrumentalist Bill Reiflin on keyboards, guitarist, and original founding member, Robert Fripp, states that this “double quartet formation” is likely to make more noise than ever before. Rounding out the eight piece line up are guitarist and vocalist Jakko Jakszyk, long-time bassist Tony Levin, and saxophonist Mel Collins, who was a mainstay of Crim from 1970-1972.

As well as standard tickets, the band's label, DGM, also has announced sale of VIP Royal Packages, limited to just 60 per show. Details can be viewed at the label's interactive and recently redeveloped website, www.dgmlive.com.

Here's what the press have raved about King Crimson's summer 2017 North American tour:

“On our final evening at the festival, we were witness to the concert that inevitably proved to be its highlight...The blend of mood, melody, ambiance and atmosphere dazzled the audience, which responded with frequent standing ovations.” - Lee Zimmerman, Goldmine Magazine

“Complex musical structures, the power, the intensity and the flight of guitars, flutes and especially drums, the progressive rock of King Crimson unfolded like never...With a dense and complex performance that perfectly coincided with the title of the tour entitled Radical Action, King Crimson took over all the years of his long career, offered new material and transported the music lovers to their rich universe and especially without compromise.” -  YVES LECLERC, Journal de Quebec

“Fripp and his band offered an impeccable performance in two stages. No melodies, no flapping, only musicians at the top of their art.” - IAN BUSSIÈRES La Presse, Quebec

“The band finally reaps all that it has sown in its many transformations...the company of the good old days got its money's worth! In short, the king is not dead, far from it, and they still rejoice.” - Réjean Beaucage, Voir.ca

There was an undeniable nostalgic thrill to these songs, but considering the unconventional setup and the band's longstanding aversion to living in the past, they weren't presented as museum pieces...this remained a celebration from a band that has found a way to honour the scope of its legacy without abandoning its avant-garde principles. Crimson has never sounded more complete, or more joyous, on stage than it does now.” -  Jordan Zivitz, Montreal Gazette

“The eclectic setlist covered the bands forty plus years, beginning with 1973's 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One' earmarked by one of several Mel Collins' exemplary solos, then jumped a decade later for the fluid 'Neurotica' with Fripp’s hyper-kinetic guitar riffs perched alongside a dizzying high tempo jazz beat. The uniqueness of seeing each of these seasoned musicians working is near indescribable and has to be experienced live, to fully embrace their vision - think of eight master painters working in their own style, but on a common canvas, and you begin to get the idea of things.” - We Heart Music, Minneapolis

“As part of their 17-show 'Radical Action Tour 2017,' King Crimson made a stop at the Greek Theatre for what can only be succinctly described as nearly three hours of absolute musical bliss — subtle and pastoral on one hand, a cacophony of sonic thrusts on the other.” - Shawn Perry Vintage Rock

“While their strong EP of new originals 'Heroes,' (in tribute to David Bowie) has devoted fans pleased and open-eared, it's the rarities from the back catalog that haven’t been played in decades or ever that make this tour's lineup exceptionally strong. Astounding as it was, King Crimson still has the propensity to tackle songs from all over their vast catalog, while incessantly adding new intersections and elements.” - Dylan Muhlberg, Grateful Web

In other news:

The band has recently released “The Elements Of King Crimson 2017 Tour Box.” As with previous releases in the “Elements” series, the full variety of King Crimson's music is presented over 2 CDs! Featuring extracts from rehearsals, new live recordings, elements from studio recordings, full tracks, alternate takes and finished recordings from 1969-2016, many of which make their first appearance on CD.

Every line-up is featured across the double CD set. Of particular interest on the new set is the inclusion on disc 2 of every part of “Larks' Tongues in Aspic” (some studio, some live) from “Part I” to “Level 5” – interspersed with elements taken from the original studio sessions and rehearsals.

Packaged in a DVD-sized fold out digipak style book case with a 24 page booklet including sleeve notes by co-compiler Sid Smith, photos of memorabilia, full info about the 2016 tour and a number of band and individual photos of the current band line-up. http://shop.schizoidshop.com/the-elements-of-king-crimson---2017-tour-box-p1670.aspx

Also, coinciding with the first leg of the tour, King Crimson released a CD EP titled “Heroes - Live In Europe, 2016.” Recorded in Berlin during the band's 2016 European tour., the EP was released on June 2nd 2017 and, along with “The Elements Of King Crimson 2017 Tour Box,” can be ordered via the shops at www.dgmlive.com as well as available through traditional retail outlets. The US based Schizoid Shop has recently added a range of new shirts and other band-related merchandise, and offers weekly specials including offers to win free tour tees. www.schizoidshop.com.

For more information: www.dgmlive.com



Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

7/14/2017

The Romantics Guitarist/Vocalist/Songwriter Michael Skill To Release New Solo Single "67 Riot"


New song evokes time when Detroit burned during “Summer of Love”

Detroit - From the man who crafted such hit singles as “What I Like About You,” “Talking in Your Sleep,” and “One In A Million,” comes a new gritty blues-rock single about the riots that forever changed his hometown of Detroit in 1967. Michael Skill, who has played both bass and guitar for the power-pop rock 'n' roll band The Romantics, was a budding teenager in 1967 when five days of racially charged riots tore apart Detroit in July. When it was over, 43 people lay dead, 1,189 had been injured, more than 7,200 had been arrested and more than 2,000 buildings had been destroyed.

Skill lived on Detroit's East Side and says that although the violence took place several miles from his home, he nonetheless saw its effects up close. “I remember the National Guard right down the street from my house,” he says. “People watching the riots on TV were afraid that rioters would come into our neighborhood. People were freaked out.” The riots changed his beloved Motor City forever. “A lot of my friends' families took off for the suburbs after that,” he says, noting his family chose to stay in the city.

The riot's effects – and the fact that many of the issues they raised, from police brutality to economic decay – stayed with Skill, culminating in his desire to write “67 Riot.” Loud, powerful and evocative of tough tunes by such rockers as Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix and Skill's fellow Detroit rockers, The MC 5, “67 Riot” is both a haunting look at the past as well as a timely allusion to the present, in a world where racial and social tension still threaten to rend our nation in two.

“I wrote the song from a sense of frustration that people never came together after the riots to really address what happened, to look each other in the eye and say, 'How can we repair this? How can we move forward?'” The song's lyrics are written from this point of view. “4 AM/Down the street/Cops roll in/With all the heat/Blind pig roaring/Kickin' their heels/Soldiers home/Just gettin' real,” the song opens. “Rooftop sniper/Set the sight/Burning cocktails/Flash in flight/Broken city/Broken dreams/Things aren't always what they seem/67 Riot!”

Recorded in Skill's own studio, the song features him on guitar, bass and vocals, and also features drummer Russell Ayers, who engineered the tune. The co-producers sought to create an aural equivalent of what it was like to live through this violent time, Skill says, but he adds that he wanted the song to end on a note of hope because Detroit has rebounded in recent years.

“Try to warm your heart/Dream your dreams/Break the chain/Let's start clean,” he adds in his song, noting it’s time to break the chain of racism that has shackled generations before, during and after “67 Riot.”

Watch the “'67 Riot” video: 


“'67 Riot” first single solo release from upcoming Debut LP.

The Romantics are still touring, still recording and currently feature 3 original band members on the front line up, Rich Cole, Wally Palmar and co-founder Michael Skill. Drummer Brad Elvis joined The Romantics in 2004 and has been the longest seated drummer with the band. Rich Cole rejoined the band in 2010, reviving the band's 3-part harmony allowing The Romantics to perform songs from their first two albums live for the first time since his departure.

To purchase Michael Skill's “'67 Riot” single:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/67-riot-single/id1253879847
https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Michael_Skill_67_Riot?id=B3a7rg4gdourwt5xm2kvt26twte&hl=en
http://cdbaby.com/cd/michaelskill

Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/mike.skill
https://twitter.com/MikeSkill2  @mikeskill2
https://www.instagram.com/mjskill/ @mjskill
https://www.facebook.com/67Riots/
https://www.facebook.com/romanticsdetroit/

Interviews:
http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7597106/the-weeknd-secrets-the-romantics-mike-skill-talking-in-your-sleep
https://musicfrenzyradionetwork.podbean.com/e/classics-in-30-the-romantics/#.WQkLeV6m0oE.facebook
https://www.mixcloud.com/gilmartindeirdre/mike-skill-of-the-romantics-interview-on-the-independent-stage-01142016/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

7/12/2017

LA Hard Rock Trio The Rift To Release Two New Addicting Singles!


Los Angeles – Hard rock trio The Rift will be releasing two balls to the wall singles titled “Rock Narcotic” and “Mysterious” from their eagerly awaited forthcoming second album slated for release end of July 2017! Conceptually the first single “Rock Narcotic” is a tribute to rock and roll. It's about how rock n roll feeds our imagination, inspires us, and allows us to totally immerse ourselves in it's grooves. Once you're hooked on that feeling you never want to let it go, it's the best drug in the world. The second single “Mysterious” is more abstract. It's about the give and take nature of life, struggling to have faith but wanting to, and realizing how precious and short our time is.

Says founding member Aris Anagnos, “We wrote both of these songs around the same time shortly after the release of our previous album 'Inventions,' in March of last year. They both developed so naturally and quickly we knew we had something special with them. We added both songs to our live shows over the past year and people were really responding to them. Every time we write our goal is to evolve and get better. It's exciting for us to have people hear the new stuff and feel it live. The recording process was a little complicated but the results and engineers themselves were really fantastic.”


Traditionally, a “rift” is an open space. It's a place of possibility and promise. Hard rock trio The Rift lives up to its moniker. Bassist John Anagnos says, “The name is the best way to describe the band, what we do, and the experience we portray live. The songs are meant to be an opening, and there's a lot you can find within them.”

That openness has solidified the group - brothers Aris Anagnos (vocals/guitar) and John along with Ovais Malik (drums) - as one of Southern California's most thrilling new rock upstarts. Since forming in 2009, the musicians have played alongside the likes of Exodus, Yngwie Malmsteen, The Misfits, and more as well as receiving nominations at the Hollywood Music Awards and Ventura County Music Awards. 2016's full-length debut “Inventions” crystallized their hard rock hooks and generated a ton of buzz on Pure Volume, JamintheVan, Screamer Magazine, Pure Grain Audio, and dozens of radio stations. The album also caught the attention of Grammy winning producer Brandon Friesen who worked famously with Alice in Chains and NickelBack, most recently the Kooks.

Now in 2017 with the release of two new singles “Rock Narcotic” and “Mysterious,” the band feels that they have reached a new level in song development and that they are onto something very special. “Rock Narcotic” is provocative and one can hear traces of Muse and System of a Down at times. The song is about losing yourself in the music and getting addicted to rock and roll. It has almost a reggae, flamenco vibe at times, but then hits hard with a chunky rock chorus. Aris says it's meant to be a tribute to the power of rock and roll. “Mysterious” has an incredible opening sequence, it starts with this airy synthesizer and crashes into a booming rock chorus fueled by a monster drum beat. It's reminiscent of Ann Berlin in parts, and Kings of Leon in other places. John said of the two songs “this one gave me chills.”

Punctuated by longtime friend Ovais's impenetrable percussion, it's the familial bond between the brothers and close friends that brings another dimension to The Rift. “Being family helps with the collaborative process,” adds John. “We tend to think along the same lines. There's a certain magic to it. If I was playing with anybody else, it wouldn't necessarily be there.”

Both songs were engineered and produced by Amit, who we had worked with the band in the past and is stellar. Says Aris, “Amit really pushed us in the studio and made sure we gave our all on every take.  I think these two songs are the beginning of a new platform for us musically and I can’t wait to see where it takes us.”

The Rift is currently finishing their forthcoming sophomore album slated for release late 2017! In closing Aris has this to impart, “ I think the message we want to have our listeners get from both songs is to have them connect with the music and want to lose themselves in hearing it, like we do.”

To purchase:
“Rock Narcotic”: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rock-narcotic-single/id1253820883
“Mysterious”: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mysterious-single/id1253820753

For more information:
www.theriftla.com
facebook.com/theriftmusic

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

7/11/2017

Progressive Rock Review: Ghostly Beard- Infinite

Release Date: July 14, 2017
Label: 2017 Patrick Talbot

Ghostly Beard is the name of this one-man band created by one Mr. Patrick Talbot. The beauty of his first EP Infinite is the fact it was just him in the creative and recording process. I am sure any artist brimming with creativity and flowing with an endless energy would appreciate the singularity of purpose. This creation is his and his alone, there was nobody there to bounce off ideas or disagree or play something differently. What a beautiful thing, complete musical freedom, or should I say Infinite freedom?

These five tracks are meant to set the table of what is to come. Talbot has much more to share with us hungry prog heads waiting to absorb another helping of the musical virtuosity he can deliver.

The very first track “Close Your Eyes” I found to be very Floydesque, in fact after looking at his bio I see they refer to his guitar playing as very Gilmore like. Not something that is hard to pick out if you are a fan of prog or Pink Floyd, which to me would be virtually one in the same in many respects.

Every track features dreamy soundscapes, razor sharp guitar lines and vocals that are a perfect fit for the tracks. He maintains a steady inflection, neither going up or down - another notch down it would almost be melancholy at times. Yet his voice is very pleasant and just right for the musical meal he serves up.

Each track can stand on its own and the curtain closer is an instrumental fluffy cloud ride into the sunset. Fluffy in a hypnotic and light way that has you wondering why it all just ended. Keep in mind this and EP, a teaser.  The scope and breadth of what is to come will surely be amazing. Count me in Patrick, I want to hear it all!

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 11, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk 

Tracks: 
1. Close Your Eyes
2. Frozen in Time
3. No Return
4. Limitless
5. Winter Dance



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